Sunday, December 30, 2012

FROSTED: Start The New Year Off Right...Not With A Toast, But With A Bite



Every December 31st it is a tradition for my fiance, a bunch of our friends, and I to get together for a relaxing dinner dinner filled with scrumptious food and drinks at our favorite local German restaurant. Afterwards everyone gathers at my house to watch the ball drop in Times Square on the television while we enjoy several bottles of champagne.

But this year some of the women in our group of friends are new moms. So, while they may savor a glass of the bubbly at midnight; they will not be able to partake in as much champagne consumption as in previous years.  In honor of all the new moms out there this New Years (such as my sister Misty) and all those responsible designated drivers, I am sharing some delicious champagne inspired treats that will allow them to have a little taste of that festive spirit of the New Year, without the headache the next morning.

So, as the 2013 countdown begins, raise your fork and savor the flavor of the New Year with these champagne goodies.

Strawberry Champagne Jello Shots
(Courtesy of Budget Bytes)


Ingredients:
(Yields approximately 24 square jello shots)
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) of pink champagne
  • 1 box (3 ounces) of strawberry jello
  • 3 envelopes of Knox gelatin

Directions:

1.  Place the jello mix and plain gelatin in a bowl and stir to mix. Pour in one cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.

2.  Slowly pour in three cups of chilled champagne and stir gently. Allow the bubbles to pop until the surface is almost bubble free. Pour the jello mix into an 8 x 8 glass dish. Cover and chill until firm (about 4 hours or overnight).

3.  Once the jello has completely set, use a sharp knife to cut into 24 squares. Serve chilled.



Champagne Vanilla Pudding with Berry Sauce
(Recipe by Family Fresh Cooking)


Pudding Ingredients:
  •  2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 cups of fat free milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of Champagne
  • 12 ounces of frozen blueberries
  • 12 ounces of frozen raspberries
Berry Sauce:
  • 2-4 Tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of fresh fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries
  • Stevia (or your favorite sweetener) to taste

Pudding Directions:

1.  Prepare an ice bath to fit a medium bowl that will nest inside it. Set aside.

2.  Whisk to combine cornstarch, Stevia, and salt.

3.  In a medium sized heat proof bowl, whisk eggs. Add cornstarch mixture from step two and combine well.

4.  In a saucepan heat milk over medium high heat until boiling; stir and be careful that it does not burn. Pour hot milk into the egg and cornstarch mixture and whisk continuously to combine well.

5.  Pour mixture back into the saucepan and continue to whisk over medium high heat for two minutes until thickened.

6.   Transfer pudding from the saucepan to a heat proof bowl. Whisk is butter, vanilla extract, and champagne. Make any flavor or sweetener adjustments.

7.  Set the bowl in the ice bath and stir continuously until chilled.


Berry Sauce Directions:

1.  In two separate saucepans, add raspberries and blueberries, one fruit in each bowl.

2.  Heat berries into medium high until boiling. They should become saucy and the berries should burst. Remove the berries from the heat, transfer to heat safe bowls and stir in 1-2 Tablespoons of cornstarch per bowl.

3.  Let berries cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The sauce will thicken a bit more in the fridge.

4.  Taste the berry sauce and add some Stevia or your favorite natural sweetener to taste.


Pink Champagne Truffles
(Via Sprinkle Bakes)


Ingredients:
(Makes around 12 small truffles)
  • 7 ounces of high quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup of pink champagne
  • 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of red flavored gelatin (strawberry or raspberry)
  • Confectioner sugar
Directions:

1.  Pour the pink champagne into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until champagne has reduced to one teaspoon. Set aside and let cool slightly.

2.  Set a heat proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Add the heavy cream and champagne reduction to the bowl and stir until combined and hot. Gradually add the white chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.

3.  Sprinkle over the gelatin mixture and and mix with a rubber spatula until combined. Mixture will thicken slightly and a little of the cocoa butter may rise to the top (pour this off). Cover and chill.

4.  Check for firmness at 5-10 minutes. This mixture firms up quickly and should not be left in the refrigerator for too long.

5.  Roll the scooped chocolate with your hands into small balls (about the size of a large grape) and roll into powdered sugar.

 (Image from Diamonds For Dessert)

Dark Chocolate Cookies With Champagne Buttercream
(Courtesy of  I Am Baker)


Chocolate Sugar Cookie Ingredients:
(Makes around 24 cookies)
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 1 Tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 1 scant (barely) cup of dark cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt

Champagne Buttercream Ingredients:
  • 1 (2 pound) bag of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons of champagne
  • 1-3 Tablespoons of milk

Dark Chocolate Cookie Directions: 

1.  In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until just incorporated. Do not over mix at this stage, or the cookies may spread to much at baking. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough has formed and there is no longer streaks of butter in the mixing bowl. The dough will often clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. This is normal and a good sign that your dough is the right consistency.

3.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4.  Turn the dough onto a sheet of wax paper and top with a second sheet. Roll dough into an oblong disc between the paper with the rolling pin. Transfer dough (wax paper and all) to a large cookie sheet. Wrap the dough tightly onto the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

5.  After chilled, remove the top sheet of wax paper and roll dough a little thinner. It should not be sticky. You may dust the surface lightly with flour if it is sticky, but not too much. You don;t want streaks of white flour baked onto your dark cookies.

6.  Roll dough into a 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Cut out round circles from the dough and transfer to the parchment lined cookie sheet. Be careful not to stretch out the cutout shapes or they will be distorted after baking.

7.  Refrigerate the cutouts for  30 minutes. This will help the cookies maintain a crisp shape during baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

8.  Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.


Champagne Buttercream Directions:

1.  Put butter and shortening in mixer and combine until smooth. Add powdered sugar in one cup at a time until fully incorporated.

2.  When almost done mixing, add in champagne. You can add more or less to taste. 

3. If you find the frosting to be very stiff and hard to work with then add some milk to add a bit of moisture.


Champagne Cream Puffs
(Recipe from The Craving Chronicles)


Puff Ingredients:
(Makes approximately 45 cream puffs)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
Champagne Pastry Cream Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup of champagne
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze: (Prepare at least an hour before assembly)
  • 4 Tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of milk
  • 4 ounces of bittersweet (dark) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar, sifted  

Cream Directions: (Prepare first; must be chilled at least 2 hours)

1.  In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Set aside.

2.  In a saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream, champagne, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, then remove from heat.

3.  Beat the eggs and egg yolks into the cornstarch mixture. While whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1/4 cup of hot heavy cream into the cornstarch mixture to temper the eggs. Return the rest of the heavy cream mixture to heat and return to a boil. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot, whisking constantly until the pastry cream reaches a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract.

4. Pour pastry through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Puff Directions: (Must be prepared at least several hours before serving)

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.

2.  Bring water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture boils, using a spatula, stir in the flour all at once until a thick paste forms and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Cool for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  Briskly beat the eggs in one at a time with the spatula, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next, until dough is smooth and shiny.

4.  Fill a large zip-top food storage bag (or pastry bag) with the dough. Snip 1/2 inch off the bag tip and pipe small mounds of dough about as wide as a quarter and 1 inch high  (about 1 inch apart) on the prepared baking sheets. You should get 20-24 (5 or 6 rows of 4) per baking sheet.

5.  Bake one sheet at a time at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375 degrees F. Continue baking for another 10-15 minutes, or until the puffs are golden brown on the tops and sides. Turn off the oven and let puffs sit in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and poke each puff on the side with a pairing knife to release steam. Cool completely on a wire rack.

6.  Use puffs the same day they are baked, or freeze them in a zip-top freezer bag for up to a month.

Chocolate Glaze Directions:

1.  Combine heavy cream, milk, and chopped chocolate in a bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well. Continue microwaving in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in confectioners sugar. Set aside to rest until spreadable but not runny. (You can pop in the fridge to speed up this part.)

Assembly Directions:

1.  Prepare the pastry cream first. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

2.  Puffs can be prepared several hours before serving, or prepared ahead of time and stored in the freezer. If using immediately, let the puffs sit at room temperature. If frozen, thaw puffs at room temperature, then rewarm in a 350 degree F oven until warm and crisped.

3.  Prepare the chocolate glaze an hour or so before assembly to allow to firm up.

4.  When ready to assemble the puffs, but a small X in the side of each puff about halfway between the top and bottom. (You can do this in the same place that you poked to release the steam.) Fill a pastry bag fitted with wide opening decorating tip with the champagne pastry cream. Insert tip into the X in the side of each puff and gently fill with pastry cream.

5. Once filled, dip the top of each cream puff in the chocolate glaze and set on a rack to firm up. Serve within hours, or if necessary refrigerate overnight.



No need to pop a cork...just grab a napkin and a fork! How decadent would these bubbly sweets be served at your New Year's Eve champagne tasting party (Juneberry Lane), on a dessert bar at champagne inspired birthday soiree (Juneberry Lane), or as a favor at your New Year's Eve wedding reception.

So, celebrate the start of 2013, with tasty, champagne flavored cuisine. Have a wonderful weekend and a safe and happy New Year!


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2 comments:

  1. Such a fabulous roundup of champagne-infused recipes! Wish I had seen them before the holidays.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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